Facilitated by renowned sex therapy specialist Richard Siegel, our Sexual Issues in Addiction and Recovery Group is uniquely designed to address relationship issues in recovery.
In this forum, Richard works to establish healthier perceptions of relationships that have been adversely affected by addiction. Focusing on the biology and delicate nature of sexuality, this group aims to provide tools for healing while acknowledging and understanding the powerful impact that relationships have on our recovery.
Impact of Addiction on Intimacy and Sexual Relationships
Addiction destroys intimacy. Drugs or alcohol become the person’s all-consuming obsession and relationships suffer as a result. Substance abuse undermines romantic ties in many ways. Fixation on the addiction, rather than the partner, can weaken affection. Over time, self-absorption destroys the bonds that hold a couple together. The substances themselves decrease libido and diminish sexual performance. Repeated lies can tear apart the fabric of trust that’s so essential to an intimate partnership. Financial troubles cause added stress.
A lack of physical and emotional intimacy can further erode a person’s ability to cope with life. They’re more likely to suffer from loneliness and depression, which can exacerbate their addiction. Over time, an individual may lose interest in sex and become wary of getting too close, physically or emotionally, to somebody else. Others may engage in promiscuous relationships that are devoid of intimacy.
Rebuilding Relationships During Recovery
Rebuilding relationships after addiction is never easy. Substance abuse takes a physical, emotional, and mental toll on an individual. An addict becomes self-absorbed, incapable of responding to the needs of others. Addicts struggle just to care for themselves and their own basic needs; caring for another human being becomes nearly impossible.
It takes a great effort for married couples to rebuild their relationships while in recovery. Once trust and intimacy are lost, it’s hard to gain them back. In some cases, it takes years to restore what was lost. Experts often tell people to avoid starting new relationships during recovery, or, at least, during the first year when they’re still learning how to live a sober, independent life.